The Postal Service will honor one of the nation’s most celebrated jazz singers when it issues the Sarah Vaughan stamp March 29.
Vaughan’s musical talent was nurtured in church, where she sang with the choir. Her voice covered three octaves, allowing her to effortlessly stretch a single syllable into several.
Vaughan was still in her teens when she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1942. The following year, she returned to the Apollo as a professional vocalist.
Vaughan played with many great jazz musicians, including saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and other masters of the emerging bebop style.
She incorporated many of their techniques into her singing. Her recordings with Gillespie and Parker include “Lover Man” and “Mean to Me.”
Vaughan won a Grammy Award for best jazz vocal performance in 1982 and a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1989. She died the following year at age 66.
USPS will dedicate the Sarah Vaughan stamp in her hometown of Newark, NJ, at a concert hall named in her honor.